The GIF comeback

This medium of content has always intrigued me. The idea of watching a micro video in a easy to share format is compelling. A super easy way to express yourself without having to write descriptive words on how you feel. Hungry? Sad? Happy? I bet there are over hundreds of gifs to choose from to describe your current situation. Gifs are a form of content that is incredibly relatable for the easily amused.

Gif startups currently in the space:

  1. Riffsy (GIF keyboard) raised 13.5m
  2. Giphy (GIF search) raised 78.95m
  3. Gfycat (trending GIF) raised 2m

But, wait. Hasn’t the GIF format been around forever? Why are these companies now popping up? True, the GIF format is in fact actually older than I am. The format has been around since 1987 and has not changed much since. After some research it looks like gif’s are actually making a comeback. Look at the image below we are either peak gif or at the base of something new about to happen.

Data Source: Google Trends (

So what is going on? Why is there a gif comeback happening? Well a few things I think are contributing to this growth. Bandwith is becoming cheaper and faster in the past years. You now generally have great connection anywhere in states. Txt messaging has moved to the app ecosystem, thus messenger apps are now the vehicles of communication. I remember years ago when you where charged to send this type of format via txt, now it’s completely free.

The startups mentioned above are also enabling the sending of gif’s. Before you would have to scour tumblr for relevant gifs this was not easy. Now I simply have to search by tag and the gif I want appears, never has been easier.

Obviously I don’t think the gif format is a life changing tech. However, I do think this space is rapidly growing and will evolve into something much bigger. Maybe someday gif’s and emojis will replace words all together. Who knows, until then I’ll stick with words.

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